Sgt Howard Arlen Walters

Sgt Howard Arlen Walters

Birth
Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA
Death 23 Nov 2003 (aged 33)
Kapisa, Afghanistan
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 60, Site 8121
Memorial ID 11343160 · View Source
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Air Force Tech Sgt Walters was assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, as an aerial gunner. The 20th Special Operations Squadron typically conducts low-level penetration operations into enemy territory, providing air support for ground troops and resupplying Special Forces units. Walters was onboard an MH-53 Pave Low helicopter conducting combat operations for 'Operation Mountain Resolve' when it crashed nine miles east of Bagram Air Base. A compressor problem caused one of the two engines on the Pave Low to stall, leaving it with one engine operating and too much weight to carry in the thin mountain air. The pilots attempted to jettison the auxiliary tanks without success and then the other engine stalled while an emergency landing was being attempted. With all power lost, the helicopter fell from an altitude of about 200 feet onto an uneven river bank, rolled over and burst into flames. Eight people somehow managed to survive. Howard was an honor student who enjoyed sports. He was very popular with his classmates because of his caring nature and sense of humor. Even as a child, he talked about going into the Air Force to become an astronaut because of his love of science and space. Right after graduation at Port Huron High School, he joined the Air Force in the fall of 1988. His first operational assignment was the 93rd Munitions Maintenance squadron at Castle Air Force Base where he trained as a weapons load monitor. Shortly after he was deployed to Desert Storm and then served with a "munitions" troop in Osan Airbase, South Korea and Ghedi Air Base in Italy. In 1995 he became an aerial gunner with the 20th SOS at Hurlburt Airbase, Florida, flying in support of Operation Joint Endeavor. Next were three years back at Osan Airbase as a member of the 31st SOS. He then returned to Florida where he became an outstanding instructor for both the future MH-53 and HH-60 gunners. He was recently serving in Africa and received orders shortly before his death that sent him to Afghanistan. Howard loved the Air Force and planned on making it his career but one thing he loved more was his family, wife, Melissa, and their four daughters. He had always said that if something happened to him that Arlington Cemetery was where he wanted to be buried. On January 21, 2004, an honor guard preceded a horse-drawn caisson containing a single flag-draped coffin at Arlington with the remains of the five servicemen killed in the crash; Air Force Maj Steven Plumhoff, Air Force Staff Sgt Thomas Walkup Jr, Air Force Tech Sgt Walters, Sgt Phillip Albert, and Air Force Tech Sgt William Kerwood. Because their remains were commingled, the five received a single burial. All five names appear on a single tombstone.

(bio by: Brenda Normandin)


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Robert
  • Added: 12 Jul 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11343160
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Howard Arlen Walters (7 Dec 1969–23 Nov 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11343160, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Brenda N (contributor 46490312) .